England, 28 Feb 44.
Yours of the 13th came a week ago to-day - and one of the 20th was waiting on my office table this morning when I got back from Haywards so it must have arrived Sunday, which is a [?] - 7 days for winter airletter is pretty quick - and believe me its like having you that much closer. A parcel arrived Sat. just in time for me to take a few items in it down to Haywards - a tin of lemon powder always causes great jubilation there - and tangible evidence followed in the form of a darn fine lemon pie for supper on Sunday night. They were also delighted with a pack age of jelly powder - and some oxo - also I divided the choc bars into a share for Haywards and a share for Morris's. The Klim and cookies and the large package of chocolate powder will be most welcome at the office on nights and weekends, when there is work to do.
Finished up a special & rush job Sat p.m. about 430 which had kept us going flat out for about 3 weeks. Had hoped to get away to go down with Bert for lunch, but there were some last-minute "corrections" which I fortunately spotted in time to put right. My boys worked hard and were a bit weary toward the finish - and also they are not experienced and seasoned old air photo manipulators like their [?] boss - and once in a while they pull a boner. The job had some novel and very interesting pictures, and is the sort that we can improve with a bit of ingeniousity on our own account. In other words not cut & dried by any means.
Didn't have time to go out to see Bill hall last week but now that we have a short spell to re-group our selves, I hope to get out there tomorrow night - it is a long dull trip and I miss my supper - however no doubt Bill has missed a few meals for our benefit during the last 3 or 4 years. Had a letter from him to-day and he says he is doing a short tour each day on crutches so he's making progress.
I am fire-watching at London House to-night have no type-writer - so far all is quiet - it's a good chance to get a letter written and the night porter has just brought me a cup of tea. It is about Â¾ past midnight and cold & clear outside, the moon is just setting - I was back at the office for a couple of hours [?] in the evening - tryin gout a new idea in the current work - think it has possibilities - anyway its worth a try. My bike is a great convenience - I can get to the office or back in less than 10 minutes on it - instead of Â½ hours stiff walk usually make 2 round trips a day so some 80 minutes a day - which I can use partly for work, partly for a short cat-nap (usually just before supper) - and partly to relax after breakfast & dinner to look at the paper. It's a busy life - but we like it that way. By the way I'm feeling very fit and think the old [?] has quite a bit of pep still! Its nice to see the days lengthening out - so that I don't have to use the lights on my bike except when I go back after supper. I have fixed up a very ingenious and efficient lighting system on the old bike, but its nice to be able to see the surrounding en-route. The black-out was just coming to its maximum when we move dup to London, so its rather fine to see many of the streets & building en-route really for the first time now, after having ridden back & forth for over 2 months in the dark.
SEE PART II
England, 28 Feb 44
I hope part I reaches you with or before this - anyway it seems my fire watch duty is good for the letter writing! Anyway to continue - my route to the office is a zig zag one - as I angle across the pattern ofstreets, which is more or less rectangular in the intervening neighbourhood, from the south-east corner to the north west corner - to it means about a gross of combination of turns one can make without much variation in distance. However I've got it refined down to the shortest smoothest, with least traffic, and only 2 traffic lights to negotiate. Also I skirt around all the green squares & parks available, most of the trip is past various buildings of the London University - and a lot of hospitals - a small part of it is through a rather sh[?] jewish district, a short stretch of Greek restaurants one concentration of small hostels - several converted into service hostels for the troops - the American boys usually gape at me in amazement to see an officer toodling along on a humble bicycle - one of the hospitals has an outdoor balcony where occasionally a row of childrens beds are set out. I can barely see them as they are up one story - it is on the south side of the hospital but poor little beggars don't get much sun, because of course there is a great huge building across the street hides the low winter sun. I feel tempted to stop and holler up to them that when they grow bigger & stronger they should come out to British Columbia where there is plenty of sun & trees & birds - and even kitty kat trees (according to your latest). Many of the streets have quaint old names - Meklenbery Square - (sounds German) - Gower Street - Tottenham Court Road - Woburn Place - Fitzroy Square.
Only had the Sunday at Haywards - but it was a fine [?] - and just what I needed. Bert & I came up on the early train this morning. Haven't been down to Morris's for over 2 weeks - but may be able to get down there next Sunday p.m. I should love ot see Mary in her "pulltails" - and hope pictures you had taken will show them.
Hope you will have time to make some of your own cookies instead of Dads to send - yours are much nicer - I suppose they take extra sugar & butter tho! Did I tell you that your fruit cake was the best of all - it was even better than Mrs Haggmans - which is such a tribute that it better be kept a family secret.
My fire watch duty is nearly up - and I'll get a few hours sleep before its time for breakfast. I had intended to write to Mr. Hall too - but this extra bit to my wife has showed the old hands of the clock around like lightning. This paper is not condusive to good writing - I prefer a hard smooth surface. Well dear - I still love you the best - Glad you got more sawdust.
A kiss for Mary -